Any way to remove cheap rattle can clear coat?

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Chris 3 years, 1 month ago.

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    Hello, long time reader of the forums but this is my first post!

    I recently bought a used car and after a few months of driving it, noticed that clear coat was peeling off of the rear bumper. I originally assumed that this was an issue with the factory clear coat as is often the case but soon discovered that this clear coat was flaking off to reveal the factory clear underneath. It was flaking so readily that scratching with a fingernail or hitting it with a pressure-washer would chip away at the clear coat. I think it’s safe to say that the previous owner tried to cover up scuffs in the rear bumper with a cheap can of clear coat from the local hardware store. The scratches must have been minor as the clear covered them well, which begs the question why they didn’t just wet-sand and polish instead??

    Anyway, is there any way to remove just the second clear coat? I have read that cheap rattle can clear is much more easily dissolved with solvents than two-part factory/professional clears. Ideally if I could get a solvent to lift that layer, I could then remove it all, wet sand and polish the old factory clear underneath or respray the bumper with a new high quality clear.

    Other idea was to try and sand the second layer of clear off, but not sure what the chances are of being able to do this without damaging the clear/base underneath?

    Here’s the right side, you can see where the clear has peeled off revealing the nice shiny clear on the top right side of the pic. On the left side is the more dull 2nd clear coat. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to scrape off any more clear by hand than in the pic.

    And the other side of the bumper, same story, peeled of clear on the left revealing factory clear and 2nd coat of dull clear on the right of pic.

    I was quoted almost $1000 by a local body shop to completely refinish the rear bumper because they said in order to guarantee their work, they’d need to completely sand down the bumper and start from scratch. There’s no way I’m going to spend $1000 on refinishing a bumper so hoping to explore other options.


    Allison Bella

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    You can try soaking with thinners, but test an area of the original paint first. Some plastics are painted with a product that reacts quite severely to thinners.

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